Axl Rose Sues Activision Over Slash Avatar
Activision is no stranger to major lawsuits (with the ongoing Infinity Ward royalties debacle still looming over them courtesy of West and Zampella)... but now they've got a slightly more frivolous issue to contend with. Guns 'N Roses singer Axl Rose has reportedly filed a $20 million lawsuit against them over the inclusion of the group's song "Welcome to the Jungle" in Guitar Hero III.
According to the brief, the problem isn't with the song itself. Rather, it's the use of Slash as an in-game avatar that's causing Rose to see red. Apparently it gives a misleading image of their association with the band- despite assurances from Activision that the song "would not be used in any way that would indicate an association between Slash and Guns N' Roses or promote Slash's separate and post-Guns N' Roses interests."
Three years have passed since Guitar Hero III hit the shelves, and it's unclear exactly why Axel has waited this long to levy the suit. You have to wonder exactly how much money he's still making from Chinese Democracy... and whether $20 million might come in useful for paying the bills. [1UP]
Kinect Will Support Indie Games "In The Future"
Microsoft has announced that the Kinect API will soon be available for use in development Xbox Live Indie Games and apps using the XNA Games studio. Kinect project director Alex Kipman confirmed that XNA support will be added "in the future," and restated their promise that open source PC Kinect hackers/developers won't get into any legal hot water. [Joystiq]
Whilst opening Kinect up to the XNA scene would be a fun and inclusive move, it's worth noting that most of the Indie studios that I regularly correspond with couldn't really care less. Developing for Kinect will likely only be useful for shallow, throwaway avatar apps that will have to sacrifice deep gameplay to remain cost effective in the 80-240 Microsoft Points price bracket.
Activision Refutes CoD Subscriptions Yet Again
Just in case you haven't quite got the company line, Activision Publishing CEO Eric Hirshberg has spoken out once again to assure gamers that online subscriptions for Call of Duty multiplayer is never going to happen (despite plenty of unfounded speculation to the contrary).
Are we going to be charging for multiplayer? The answer is no. The experience you have out of the box, connecting with the online community to play Call of Duty is absolutely integral to the experience... it's not going to be something we'll attempt to monetise; it's part of the package.
At the end of the day, all I'm trying to get across is I can unequivocally say we will never, ever charge for the multiplayer. -Hirshberg to IndustryGamers
Activision community guru Dan Amrich also told us this in person when we chatted to him at this year's Gamescom. So there... for now. Activision has made it very clear that DLC will fuel an ongoing Black Ops revenue stream rather than online subscriptions, though the plan to monetise long cutscenes is sadly still in the pipeline.
And Finally... Happy Birthday, PS2!
The venerable PS2 is 10 years old today, having brought us a decade of some of the best games ever made. The Playstation 2 was a truly inclusive console that proved that a vast games lineup and solid hardware is far more important than hype or glitz... and it's still selling. Many happy returns, old friend.
We'll be bringing you a tribute to Sony's original gaming masterpiece later this week. [Picture- and gateaux- courtesy of The CakeWorks]